Operation Manatee Music Prize 2019: The Long List

Bwah Bwah Bwah Bwaaaaah!

It’s finally here! The only best album list that truly matters. The Operation Manatee Music Prize Long List.

This was the longest, most involved long list I’ve done. There were 170 albums to choose from. Only 103 made the cut. These are below. The Top 5 albums of 2019 will be posted soon.

Some rules to make it to this list:

  • Must be sonically interesting
  • No singles except full album-length/concept tracks; can be EPs
  • No compilations
  • No reissues

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OPERATION MANATEE MUSIC PRIZE 2018: THE LONG LIST

Life has a way of making you postpone things you like doing, then Christmas came. Ah well, better late than never?

Because life’s been a little extra crazy this year, I didn’t get around to paring down the long list as much as I would have liked. As usual, I re-listened to all the albums/EPs I thought were half decent, keeping off the ones that just weren’t good enough, but I just didn’t have time for a final edit, and write-up for each album.

So this year, I’m keeping it pretty simple, because the long list is long, and it’s already late. This year, it’s just the list: no album covers, no write-ups, just a big, alphabetized list. Sorry.

To make up for it, I still plan on writing up the top five albums in full regalia, within the next week or so.

Per tradition,

Previous lists, for reference:
2017-long | 2017-top 5
2016-long | 2016-top 5
2015-long | 2015-top 5
2014
2013
2012

Some rules to make it to this list:

  • Must be sonically interesting
  • No singles except full album-length/concept tracks; can be EPs
  • No compilations; can be solo artists, bands, collabs

And now… the 2018 Operation Manatee Music Prize Long List:

Continue reading “OPERATION MANATEE MUSIC PRIZE 2018: THE LONG LIST”

Operation Manatee Music Prize: Top 5 Albums of 2017

I’ve mentioned a few times that, especially compared to 2016, 2017 just didn’t have as much good music released. While lacking in quantity, though, the quality was there, as a handful of exceptional recordings were released.

Below, allow me to present you with the year’s top five:

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OPERATION MANATEE MUSIC PRIZE 2017: THE LONG LIST

No longer must you wait to be informed of what were the best albums released this year; the long awaited, highly revered Operation Manatee Music Prize is finally here!

Because I went a little nuts with this list last year, and because 2016 saw so damned many good albums compared to this year, I’ve dialed it back a bit. Instead of this year’s 100 best albums, this list will only grow as long as needed, and will likely be pared more liberally. Frankly, 2017 just didn’t have as many great releases as last year.

However, that’s not to say that there wasn’t still plenty of great music released.

Previous lists, for reference:
2016-long | 2016-top 5
2015-long | 2015-top 5
2014
2013
2012

The list below is ordered by artist last name or band/artist/act name, in the case of artists crazy enough to release more than one work this year (looking at you, Dear Criminals… and wft, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard?), they are listed first by act name, then by release order.

Got that?

Good. That said, I give you the 2017 Operation Manatee Long List:

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OPERATION MANATEE MUSIC PRIZE 2016: THE LONG LIST

There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. (Cohen)

This has been a fucked up year for music. We weren’t ready for Bowie to go, we didn’t see it coming with Prince, we thought Sharon Jones had it beat… Even with the old-timers – part of me thought Leonard Cohen would make to 200, and Leon Russell would at least make it to his 80s. Despite the darkness, though, there has been so much great new music come into the world – including some by those greats we’ve lost.

That’s the thing about music though, man – and I’m trying to avoid a bad cliche, but – music will be here forever, and certainly they really do live on in each note we hear again.

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Operation Manatee Music Prize: Top Five Albums of 2015

Coming up with this list is always hard. You’ve seen how much good music makes it under my radar in a year. Paring it down to 5 means leaving out heaps of really good music. Alas, it must be done (actually, it doesn’t – I’m clearly doing this for fun).

Keeping in the spirit of the new Operation Manatee Music Prize, I’m again doing that thing everyone on the internet hates: changing something. Instead of reading from my number 1 pick, up, I’m doing a big, old-fashioned countdown.
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Operation Manatee Music Prize 2015: The Long List

2015 has been a crazy good year for new music! So good, in fact, that I’ve decided to expand upon my annual Top 5 Albums posts (OpMan Archives: 2014, 2013, 2012), and do a sort of long-list/short-list Polaris rip-off something or other.

Below are all contenders for 2015’s Top 5 list. This is based on a handful of rigorous criteria, outlined below:
– Must be a full album (no EPs, singles, etc.)
– Must be released in 2015
– Must have been listened to by me
– Must actually be good (tons of stuff never made the cut, and some were cut as this was edited and updated)

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